The Religious Background of the People

I met a candidate that was ready to leave for the field. In the course of a brief conversation it became clear that there was a major void in this person’s understanding. The candidate had almost no understanding of the religious background of the people! I can only imagine the confusion that comes when a worker picks up the religious context from a people, confuses culture and religious beliefs, or struggles with questions of how to fit into a society. Workers that are unprepared often seek to remove all offenses, including the cross, in an attempt to delight their hosts. Others have become so enamored with the local belief system that they have been pulled in, losing their sense of direction in Christ and his uniqueness. Each worker must have a solid grasp of both the religious background of the people he or she will reach, and how to disciple new believers in ways that strengthen old weaknesses or propensities to sin. What a joy when people are trained to love their hosts and communicate truth in ways that makes them hungry for more of God.